Meet Austin-Smith:Lord at MIPIM 2020


Meet Austin-Smith:Lord at MIPIM 2020

Austin-Smith:Lord will be attending MIPIM 2020, joining delegates in Cannes from 9-12 March to discuss future development trends and opportunities across urban regeneration, mixed-use, commercial, residential, industrial and infrastructure sectors.

Our team is looking forward to discussing opportunities throughout the UK and further afield, drawing upon our design expertise from our studios in Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and London.

If you would like to meet up at MIPIM please just get in touch on the number(s) below or by emailing


AMRC Cymru opens for business in North Wales

AMR Broughton

AMRC Cymru opens for business in North Wales

The £20m Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Cymru has now opened for business in Broughton. The state-of-the-art centre will be a catalyst for growth and jobs in Deeside; across North Wales and the wider cross-border and Northern Powerhouse region.

It was officially opened on 28th November by First Minister Mark Drakeford and Economy and North Wales Minister Ken Skates. The centre will provide businesses with a new level of research and development opportunities and support.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said “This is a world-class facility, which will be a key driver in bringing the latest research, technology and skills to Deeside and the wider North Wales region.

“AMRC Cymru will be of benefit for generations to come in North Wales and is part of our aim to have a more prosperous and equal Wales.”

The advanced manufacturing research centre will enable businesses to access advanced technologies, helping them to drive improvements in productivity, performance and quality. Situated in the Deeside Enterprise Zone, it will focus on advanced manufacturing sectors, including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food.

The region has a strong manufacturing base and AMRC Cymru will build on this, driving world-class research and expertise across the supply chain.

Backed by £20 million from Welsh Government, and managed by the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the centre will spark economic growth by developing innovation, commercialisation and the development of a new generation of skills.

It is predicted the new centre could increase GVA to the Welsh economy by as much as £4bn over the next 20 years.

The centre will operate a 2000 square metre open access research area. Airbus will be the first major tenant and will have a platform to develop its next generation wing technologies aligned to its Wing of Tomorrow programme, which is part of a global Airbus investment in research and innovation.

Economy and North Wales Minister Ken Skates said “AMRC Cymru is a real game-changer for the economy of North Wales. It will boost the region’s reputation for manufacturing excellence and its impact will be felt across Wales.

“Projects such as this help to drive innovation and excellence, enhancing Wales’ reputation a as place to invest and do business. It will play a key role in bringing academia and businesses closer together, boosting skills.

“It’s an amazing facility, developed by the Welsh Government, operated by the University of Sheffield AMRC, bringing the very latest innovations and potential opportunities straight to North Wales. It will raise productivity in the region and along with the North Wales Growth Deal and our investment in infrastructure will allow North Wales to fulfil its economic ambition.

“It’s a very real pleasure after only 3 years from concept to delivery for me to see it now ready to open for business.”

Airbus senior vice president Paul McKinlay, head of the company’s Broughton plant, said “We’re delighted to be the first major business tenant of AMRC Cymru. The facility is world-class and the perfect home for our most significant research and technology programme Wing of Tomorrow.

“The programme will inform the next generation of wings so when we launch a new aircraft programme, we’ll have the technologies and systems ready to design and build the wings at the rate we need them.

“The fact the Welsh Government chose this area to invest in such innovation underlines the value of the business in the region and we look forward to seeing the development of cutting-edge technologies in a range of industries as a result of this.”

AMRC Cymru was concept designed by Arup and Austin-Smith:Lord from a standing start to planning within a very tight timescale of 12 weeks before being detailed and tendered in order to get the design and build contractor Galliford Try, selected from the North Wales Framework following an extensive tender process, and their design consultants with Arup and Austin Smith Lord remaining client side to ensure quality and compliance with the original concept.

Executive Director Richard Cronin of the practice said “It has been a pleasure to be involved with this ground breaking scheme from inception to completion. We as a team have all learnt so much about the processes and technologies that can develop from this building, seeing just a snapshot of what may be possible. This facility will secure the future of skilled advanced manufacturing and underpins the commitment under the 2015 Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act to educate and skill the region for many years to come.

Austin-Smith:Lord appointed to deliver Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project

Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project

Austin-Smith:Lord appointed to deliver Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project

We are delighted to be appointed by Dorset Council to help deliver the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project.

The project – which was awarded £3.79m of investment from the Government’s Coastal Communities fund – aims to sustain and create jobs at Weymouth Harbour. It includes a multi-purpose harbour building, including:

  • a Centre of Excellence for small-medium enterprise on the quay, including employment and co-working space, a café or kitchen and bookable training spaces and meeting rooms
  • facilities for boat crews
  • secure storage and facilities for the Harbour Authority
  • state of the art training facilities attracting maritime, marine and other industry students

Improved harbour facilities, including:

  • new pontoons to enhance and extend access to fishing and other boats
  • fishing support services

The project also aims to attract more visitors to the area with significant public realm and landscaping works, including a pedestrian walkway around the Peninsula also to be designed by Austin-Smith:Lord.

The end result will be to transform a brownfield site on Weymouth Harbour and turn it into a space of economic regeneration, creating employment and safeguarding jobs by supporting local small and medium sized enterprises.

Dorset Council is delivering the project in partnership with the Weymouth Area Development Trust (WADT).

While the council is leading on delivering the building and harbour improvements, WADT are focussed on what the Centre of Excellence will deliver to the local business community.

Chris Wilson, Chief Exec of Weymouth Area Development Trust said:

This is great news. The planned Centre of Excellence for Small Medium Enterprise is the first of its kind in the country and the Towns business community is involved in its design and delivery. We are looking forward to working with the architects to design a building that will hold such a flagship project.

Image credit: Dorset Council

Austin-Smith:Lord expands Interior Design Team during exciting period of growth

V&A East Collections & Research Centre

Austin-Smith:Lord expands Interior Design Team during exciting period of growth

Austin-Smith:Lord has recently expanded its Interior Design Team and secured a number of exciting projects across the UK. The team, headed up by Director Kate Thomas, has recently welcomed back Olivia Laxton to the practice after her time gaining valuable experience on a number of fit out projects in London. The team is also supported by James Gould, a young multi award-winning designer who joined the practice earlier this year.

James, Kate and Olivia

Kate and her team are currently working on the V&A East Collection and Research Centre with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. This project will revolutionise how the V&A’s world-leading collection of art, design and performance are accessed, explored and experienced.

They are also currently working on Interior Design projects for Cardiff Metropolitan University, Coleg y Cymoedd, Fitzalan High School, and the University of the West of England (UWE).

As well as standalone interior design projects, the team work on multi-disciplinary schemes in close conjunction with Austin-Smith:Lord colleagues in other specialist disciplines, including  Architects, Conservation Architects and Landscape designers, as required.

With a multitude of exciting projects in the pipeline, the team look forward to continued success and growth.  They look forward to soon sharing completion images of their exciting current projects which are flourishing on the drawing board and on site.

You can view a selection of A-S:L’s Interior Design projects here:

Friday 11th October: ‘Collecting + Collaborating’ Lecture by Graham Ross


Friday 11th October ‘Collecting + Collaborating’ Lecture by Graham Ross

Graham Ross, Executive Director at Austin-Smith:Lord, will be reflecting on lessons learned from the practice’s work with peers and collaborators on a diverse array of projects including (Y)our City Centre with MVRDV, V&A East Collection and Research Centre with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and The Happenstance at the Venice Biennale with WAVEparticle. The lecture has been organized by the Association of Dundee Architecture Students.

Details are as follows:

Date/Time: Friday 11th October @ 6pm
Venue: Room LT 5018, Matthew Building Level 5, University of Dundee School of Architecture, Perth Road, Dundee
Tickets: Available at this link: Lecture Tickets

All Welcome!

A-S:L BIM Manager secures BRE Global BIM Certification

BRE Global Certification Austin-Smith:Lord Ed Harrison

A-S:L BIM Manager secures BRE Global BIM Certification

Ed Harrison, Austin-Smith:Lord’s BIM Manager, has secured BRE Global BIM Certification. This accreditation demonstrates Austin-Smith:Lord’s BIM capability and further strengthens our commitment to providing our clients, contractors and consultants with a high quality BIM service.

Austin-Smith:Lord were one of the first practices in the UK to invest in Computer Aided Design CAD in the mid 1980’s and have been at the forefront of the use of digital technology in design.

BIM has become a cornerstone of the way that we produce information. Having taken a strategic decision in 2014 to adapt how we deliver digital information aligned as close as possible to BIM level 2, we have continually updated and adapted our approach to suit the latest developments in the process. As a result we have completed numerous BIM projects in the last five years with the percentage of projects requiring BIM delivery increasing year on year. Our wide range of BIM experience has resulted in appointments in BIM consultancy roles advising Clients on best practice and creation of bespoke information requirement & execution plan documentation.

Ed Harrison said “Austin-Smith:Lord was the first practice I worked at when I started my career in the architectural industry back in 1992. Coming back in 2013 felt like coming home and being able to guide the Company through the implementation and subsequent successful use of the BIM process has been a rewarding experience. We will always strive to improve the service we can provide to Clients and being able to clearly demonstrate a proven capability with BIM is key to our future. Attaining this certification is an important first step in being seen as a market leader in the provision of BIM services.”

Click here to see a selection of Austin-Smith:Lord’s BIM projects

(Y)our Broomielaw wins Scottish Design Award

Scottish Design Awards 2019 Austin-Smith:Lord and MVRDV

(Y)our Broomielaw wins Scottish Design Award

Scottish Design Awards

We are delighted that the (Y)our Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework, led by Austin-Smith:Lord in collaboration with leading international architects and urbanists MVRDV, was announced the winner of a Scottish Design Award in the Masterplanning category at the recent awards ceremony. The framework was prepared for Glasgow City Council as part of the (Y)our City Centre project in collaboration with thousands of contributors through public participation and engagement with stakeholders. It illustrates a bold new concept for Broomielaw as a new, vibrant mixed-use quarter in Glasgow’s city centre and at the heart of the regional economy.

Our second shortlisted project, the redevelopment of Partick Interchange, was also recognised with a commendation in the Regeneration category.

Our congratulations go to everyone involved in these fantastic projects.

Graham Ross, Partner at Austin-Smith:Lord said “It is great to receive these accolades. It is even better to receive positive feedback from those affected by these projects. The Partick Interchange has enhanced the passenger experience in one of Glasgow’s busiest transport nodes. The (Y)our City Centre projects have received positive support and can hopefully inspire regeneration in the heart of Scotland’s largest city.

The (Y)our City Centre projects emerged from extensive participatory planning and engagement with resident, civic, cultural and business communities with an interest in Glasgow’s city centre. We’re grateful to everyone who shared (Y)our Ideas and helped prepare the Frameworks which we hope will assist in shaping a positive future for Glasgow.

We greatly appreciate the support and encouragement received from Glasgow City Council to develop bold plans for the city centre. It was a privilege to collaborate with MVRDV, who brought an international perspective and verve to these Frameworks. We enjoyed working with a talented and creative multi-disciplinary team, mostly from Scotland and the Netherlands, bringing together local knowledge and international best practice.

Now it is time to focus on delivering the changes Glasgow needs to secure its place as a leading European city.”

The full (Y)our Broomielaw team included:

Glasgow City Council: Client
MVRDV: Lead Designer, Strategy
Austin-Smith:Lord: Local Designer, Local Consultant, Strategy
Space Syntax: Connectivity, Spatial Economics
Ryden: Property Market Consultants
Douglas Wheeler Associates: Socio-economic Regeneration Consultants
WAVEParticle: Community Animation, Engagement
Urban Tide: Smart City Consultants
Gerry Grams: Strategic City Design Adviser
Arup: Engineering Advice
Gardiner & Theobald: Cost Consultants

Glasgow City Council has also given approval for a public consultation on the proposals presented in the St Enoch District Regeneration Framework, (also prepared by a team led by Austin-Smith:Lord in collaboration with MVRDV). The consultation period ends on 6th September. Those wishing to take part can do so at: St Enoch District Consultation.

After this period, the Framework and its Action Plan will go back to the council’s City Administration Committee for formal approval.

Planning Consent Secured For Depot Rationalisation (Oban)

Oban Depot Rationalisation

Planning Consent Secured For Depot Rationalisation (Oban)

Luddon Construction Ltd’s Lead design consultant Austin-Smith:Lord have secured Detailed Planning Consent for Argyll & Bute Council’s rationalisation of their 11.5 hectare depot site in Millpark Road, Oban.

The consented design includes the construction of a 400sqm workshop for maintaining the council’s vehicle fleet, new wash bay facilities, a 225sqm two storey office, and an extension to and rationalisation of the vehicle yard which also includes a new fuel tank facility. The investment by Argyll & Bute council demonstrates their commitment to investing in their estate and services provided across the region. The building is to be constructed using a material palette of composite metal roof and wall cladding panels, facing brick walling and colour coated curtain walling and doors.

This Design & Build project commenced in February 2019 and construction works started on site on 12th August 2019. It is anticipated that the project will be completed in 2019.

Project Director/Lead designer, Andrew McCafferty of Austin-Smith:Lord said “We are delighted to have secured Planning Consent for Luddon Construction Ltd in collaboration with engineering consultant SLR. We have enjoyed working closely with our client Luddon Construction Ltd and head client Argyll & Bute Council to develop a design solution that improves the provision and efficiency of maintenance facilities and the quality of environment for the depot users.”

Kew Gardens Great Pagoda wins Constructing Excellence SECBE Award

Great Pagoda Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens Great Pagoda wins Constructing Excellence SECBE Award

We are delighted to announce that Kew Gardens Great Pagoda has been declared the winner of the 2019 SECBE Constructing Excellence Award in the ‘Preservation and Rejuvenation’ category.

The Great Pagoda, located at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, is the most important Chinoiserie-style building in Europe. It is a ten-storey brick tower with octagonal plan form and roofs and balconies rising in diminishing stages. After five years of research and investigation it has undergone a major restoration, led by Austin-Smith:Lord on behalf of Historic Royal Palaces, with the aim of returning it to the original vision. This includes the reintroduction of eighty dragon sculptures on the roofs. It has now re-opened to the public for the first time in thirty years.

Lee Prosser, Lead Curator for the project from Historic Royal Palaces said “the team is so pleased that our dedication and sensitivity in restoring this most important building has been recognised.  The Pagoda project was a combined effort drawing on many specialists, and all involved should consider this a personal achievement”.

Congratulations to the team who worked on this fantastic project! You can watch the winners video here:

You can find out more about the Kew Gardens Great Pagoda project at this link:

Take a look at some of our other conservation projects here:

Meet Austin-Smith:Lord at Housing 2019


Meet Austin-Smith:Lord at Housing 2019

Austin-Smith:Lord are attending ‘Housing 2019’ from 25-27 June. This is the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual event, and Europe’s largest housing festival. If you’d like to meet up, please get in touch with:

Martin Roe, Partner
+44 (0)7879 402639


Allan Chan, Director
+44 (0) 7909 234519


Tope Balogun, Associate
+44 (0) 7795 445032